Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Leslie Basham: Wouldn't it be interesting if a TV meteorologist not only predicted a storm but also came to your house and helped you deal with the storm? This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Thursday, October 24.

TV weather people can help you a little bit in predicting when we can expect bad weather. But when it comes to the storms of life, God not only has a perfect knowledge of when trouble will come, He also is with you during the storm. Here's Nancy, continuing in a series called "Storm Shelter: Finding Safety and Strength in God's Arms."

We're talking this week about how to survive the storms of life. Life does have storms, and Psalm 57 gives us an insight into how David survived some of the storms that he experienced. We said, first of all, that he was honest about the fact that he was in a storm; he didn't pretend like it didn't exist. And then, secondly, that he took refuge in God. He said, "Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed" (v. 1, NIV).

Nancy Leigh DeMoss:

Now David goes on in verses 2 and 3 to tell us something else he's going to do in the midst of the storm. He says, "I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills his purpose for me. He sends from heaven and saves me, rebuking those who hotly pursue me; Selah. God sends his love and his faithfulness." David says in the midst of the storm, "I'm going to cry out to God."

I don't know about you but when I'm in the midst of a storm, I have to say sadly that my first impulse is often not to cry out to God but to cry out to someone else.

I mean, isn't that what friends are for and pastors and counselors? And I thank the Lord for godly friends that we can share our burdens with and who can help us get God's perspective in a time of storms. But I'll tell you, when we've been to all the counselors and all the friends and all the helpers, if we want to really get our need met, we're going to have to cry out to the Wonderful Counselor whose name is Jesus.

I love teaching the Word of God, I love ministry, I love serving God's people and there are a lot of blessings associated with being in ministry. But there are also a lot of demands. And I have to say that in the midst of developing some of this material for radio, some of the demands of the deadlines have become something of a storm for me at times.

And I found myself late one Friday night picking up the phone and calling one of my fellow staff members in the ministry where I serve and crying out. Literally I was sobbing. And I said, "I just can't do this! I just can't do this! This is too hard!" And I just poured out my heart, and my dear friend wanted so badly to do something.

But, you know, there was a limit to what they could do. I mean, they could pray, they could care. But they couldn't go through the storm with me. If I really want to survive a storm, I've got to cry out to the Lord.

David says he cried out to God because of His Person. "I cry out to God Most High," he says. That's the Hebrew name for God, Elohim Elyon, God Most High. What's David saying? There is no higher source to whom you can go. You've gone to the ultimate One, the One who's over all the storms when you cry out to Him. You're crying out to the One who is infinitely high, He's the Most High God.

But David says not only is His Person something that I want to cry out to but also because of His purpose I cry out to Him. He has a purpose for my life in the midst of the storm. And that purpose will be fulfilled. That's what David says, "I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills his purpose for me" (Psalm 57:2).

Psalm 138 tells us that God will perfect that which concerns me--that the things that are troubling to me, the things that are devastating my life right now have a purpose that God is fulfilling. And He will finish fulfilling His purpose (v. 8 paraphrased). When we can look back from heaven's vantage point and see what God was doing here on earth, we will have no complaints about any of the circumstances that came into our lives. We will say, "God, You had a purpose, and You were doing it right, and You did fulfill Your purpose for me."

It helps me to remember that where I am right now is part of that purpose for my life. That husband, that child, that assignment, that impossible task, that situation at work, that physical challenge is part of God's purpose for me right now. I was thinking over the last few days about that passage in Psalm 107 where there's a long passage about storms. It tells us two things about storms and God's role in storms. Psalm 107, verse 25 (NKJV), says that God "commands and raises the stormy wind which lifts up the waves of the sea."

Who makes the storm? God does. He commands and causes the waves and the stormy wind to come. And then that passage goes on to say that the people in the midst of that storm "are at their wits' end" (Psalm 107:27). "Then they cry out to the Lord in their trouble" (v. 28). Part of God's purpose in the storms is to bring me to the place that I'm so desperate that I have no one else to cry out to other than God.

Some of you are living in a situation with a family member, a situation at work or in your church or with a relationship where there's no one else you can cry out to but God--you're at your wits' end. Part of God's purpose in that storm is to bring us to the end of our own resources, the end of our own ideas about how to handle this so that we cry out to the Lord in our troubles.

And then verses 28 and 29--still in Psalm 107--"He brings them out of their distresses. He calms the storm, so that its waves are still." You see, God creates the storm. But He also calms the storm. And as we've said before, He knows exactly the duration, the intensity and the fierceness that are needed in that storm to fulfill His perfect purposes in my life. And when He knows that His purpose has been fulfilled, He will speak the Word. And the storm will be gone.

So David looks at God's Person, he looks at God's purposes and recognizes that they will be fulfilled. And then David looks at God's provision. He says in Psalm 57:3, "God sends from heaven and saves me. He sends his love and his faithfulness" (NIV, paraphrase). Some of your translations say, "God shall send forth His mercy and His truth." These are two words that are often paired together in the Old Testament: the mercy and the truth of God, the love and the faithfulness of God.

The word translated "love" or "mercy" is translated differently because it's a hard word to translate. There's not one English word that really communicates the whole meaning of this Hebrew word checed. It's a word that means "the covenant, faithful, loving kindness of God," His love that never fails in the midst of any circumstance.

And David says, "In the midst of my storm, God sends resources from heaven" (107:25, 57:3 combined). He sends a provision. What does He send? His covenant love. And God sends His truth and His faithfulness. Faithfulness is the word for "steadfastness." Yes, the waves are high. Yes, the storm is great. But God is faithful and steadfast in the midst of the turbulence.

Now, interestingly in verse 3, David says, "God sends down his love and his faithfulness [from heaven]." When you come to verse 10 in this passage, he says that God's love and God's faithfulness reach up from earth to heaven. So it's going both directions. And where are we in the midst of that stormy sea? Caught right between the love and the faithfulness, the mercy and the truth of God.

As I was in that storm not too long ago and cried out first to a friend, I found that it was helpful to have someone pray and care. But after I hung up the phone, I was still there alone in my storm. And then I did what I needed to do all along. And that is to get on my knees and cry out to the Lord as David did.

I cried out to God Most High and I said--not as calmly as I am right now--"Oh, Lord, I can't make it through this storm without You. I'm crying out to You. My little boat is very frail and weak right now. Would You have mercy? You are God Most High. I trust that You are fulfilling Your purposes, and that I am where You want me to be right now."

What did God do? He did what He always does when we cry out. He sent His love and His faithfulness, His mercy and His truth. And He said, "This is My provision, this is what you need. And it's all that you need. And it really, really is.

Leslie Basham: Have you ever been in the kind of situation Nancy Leigh DeMoss was just talking about? We're all going to face problems that no one can help us with except God. Our current series called "Storm Shelter" has been helping us prepare for that kind of circumstance.

During this series, we're making available what we're calling The Survival Packet which will help you get in the habit of looking to God during the storms of life. The Survival Packet includes the book by Ron Dunn, When Heaven is Silent. You'll also hear an interview with Rick and Judy Taylor. Here's a sample of the Taylors' story:

"As I rounded the pond, I was feeling so helpless that I looked up to heaven and yelled at the top of my lungs, 'Please don't take both of them!' Erik's body came up immediately. He was under the water about 15 minutes. His heart had quit beating, and he was totally blue. Kyle never came up."

You can get the book, the interview on cassette and Breath of God, a worship CD, all in The Survival Packet for a suggested donation of $35. Just call us at 1-800-569-5959, or go on-line for more information. Our address is ReviveOurHearts.com.

If you're in the middle of a storm and would like someone to pray for you; or if you'd like to share what God's been doing in your life, why don't you write a note to Revive Our Hearts. And remember it takes the prayer and financial support of our listeners to keep Revive Our Hearts on the air. If you've never given to this ministry, would you consider helping us continue providing practical teaching for women?

You know, what comes to mind when you hear the word theology? Is it just something seminarians debate? We'll find out why theology is important on tomorrow's program. Now, here's Nancy to pray.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Oh, God, what an incredible privilege to cry out to You in the midst of the storm and to know that You hear and You care, that You are El Elyon, God Most High. And that You have a purpose You are fulfilling in us and through us in the midst of the storm. Help us to let You have Your way in the storm, not to resent it or resist it or run from it, but to be willing to stay right in the midst of it as long as You are fulfilling Your purposes.

And thank you for Your incredible provision in the midst of the storm, for Your covenant love and for Your steadfast faithfulness. Oh, God, surely that is enough. So, from our little boat bobbing about here on whatever storm of life we may be in right now, we lift our voices up to cry out to You, and we are safe. Thank you in Jesus' name. Amen.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is a ministry partnership of Life Action Ministries.

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